'Eli's' on Serious Eats

The Best Baguette in New York

In honor of Serious Eats Bakery Week, we set out to answer a question that's been on our mind for ages: what's the best baguette in New York? Because for every good baguette, there are dozens of disappointments. Tough, mouth-hurting crusts or doughy, spongy insides. A dried-out crumb or a flavor that's too sweet or too sour or just plain bland. We're tired of suffering bad bread—and wanted to find you the best in the city. More

Good Bread: Eli's

For Eli Zabar, the 1970s were the Dark Ages for bread in New York City. In 1973, he opened E.A.T., his gourmet deli and café on Madison Avenue, and he was desperate to find good bread for his smoked salmon sandwiches. "The old bakeries had died out," he says, "and the bakeries that survived were making mass-produced supermarket garbage. There were a few mom and pops around, but most of those weren't any good either." He was getting his bread from an Italian bakery up in Harlem whose owner was often drunk. "One day, the bread came in, and it was so bad that I said, 'Even I can make bread better than this.'" More

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